Category Archives: Portugal

SwitchBitch Book 3 completes the Transformation Trilogy, Solo Travelling and Dancing the theme!

 

I have just completed writing my third SwitchBitch Book in the Transformation Trilogy, this one entitled ‘SwitchBitch: My Journey of Transformation in Travelling Solo, step by step’. 

This year was dominated by a trip of a lifetime. I had to summarise for myself and my Facebook friends what this trip had been all about, and I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story, about my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months: Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award to Pilbeo; Sour Service Award goes to Alda Eustacion Pontevedra!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Pilbeo luggage transfer service in Portugal and Spain, and its operator Jesus Capeans Viña, for the excellent reliable service they offered in collecting and dropping off my suitcase on each of my 15 Accommodation nights in the Portuguese Coastal Camino, starting in Porto in Portugal until I completed the walk in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. When I developed a bad blister underneath my foot, I could be transported with my luggage to the next destination, at the cost of an additional ‘suitcase’. Two changes to my schedule/accommodations were efficiently handled. Continue reading →

Pastéîs De Belém a taste of tradition since 1837, the best Pastéis de Nata in Portugal!

When I visited Lisbon earlier this month, I was recommended by a local to visit Belém in general for its historic tower and monastery building, but also specifically to buy and try the Pastéis de Nata at the iconic Pastéis de Belém, which has operated since 1837, only a handful of the closest trusted employees having its secret recipe. Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to Lisbon train service; Sour Service Award goes to Diana Tours in Lisbon!

The Sweet Service Award goes to the Lisbon train service, for its amazing train to Porto, and for the discount I received when making the booking at the Lisbon station, Initially the ticket seller told me that the second class tickets were sold out, and that I would have to buy a first class ticket at €85 for the three hour trip. He understood my question about a pensioner price, asked to see my passport, and lo and behold, I was given a second class ticket at €22! I mistakenly sat in the first class section initially, and the seats in both classes were almost identical, with footrests, and WiFi! South African trains have a long way to go! Continue reading →

‘Lisbon under Stars’ an impactful multi-media modern presentation of Lisbon’s history!

Prior to starting my Portuguese Coastal Camino from Porto, I spent three days in Lisbon, sightseeing as a tourist. One of the highlights of visiting the city was the 360 degree audio and light show ‘LISBON UNDER STARS – immersive Spectacle’, performed in the open air ruins of the Carmo Church, now an archeological museum. 
 
 I had read about the show ‘Lisbon under Stars’ in the TAP inflight magazine whilst flying from London to Lisbon, and when my friend Arno and I walked last the ticket booth by chance, it was meant to be, and we booked and paid for tickets for the following evening. 
 
On arrival, with Arno running slightly late, I queued to get inside, not knowing what the seating would be like. It appeared that our tickets had been booked for the night before, but the ticket office was very kind to swop our tickets for the correct evening. Just then Arno arrived, and we went inside, not knowing what awaited us inside. 
 
A few chairs had been set up, and some cushions. Fake lawn had been rolled out in some sections, and the idea was to find a comfortable spot from which to view the 360 degree show, set in the unrenovated Carmo Church, which was a victim of the famous Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami in 1755.  
 
The show was preceded by lit up Archeological treasures in the shared space, making them
look surreal, and very modern. And then the lights went down, and a series of historical and cultural events in the history of Lisbon and Portugal was communicated in a modern visual, audio, dance, and musical story and show, one having to look forward, backward and sideways to not miss out on anything. 
 
A female figure represented Lisbon, being the storyteller. The Programme describes it best: ‘You are entering a time travel machine that will transport you on an immersive journey through more than 600 years of history, glories and tragedies of the Portuguese people.’
 
The following historic highlights in Lisbon’s heritage are represented :
 
#. Prologue
 
#. 14 August 1385: Battle of Aljubarrota: 7000 Portuguese defeat 40000 Castilians and ensure the independence of Lisbon. 
 
#.  1389 Construction of Carma Church to celebrate the victory of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. 
 
#.  1423: Dom Nuno Alvares Perreira becomes a Carmelite monk, donating all that he has to the Order of Carmo, joins the Convent, and dedicates himself to a monastic life until his death. 
 
#.  8 July 1497 Vasco da Gama leaves Lisbon, to discover the sea route to India. Almost a year later he arrives in Calcutta. 
 
#. 1 November 1755: The great Lisbon earthquake, the firestorm, and the tsunami, which submerged Lisbon’s lower zone’.
 
#.  1756: Reconstruction of Carmo Church: the monks dedicate themselves to the reconstruction of the Carmo Church by their own means. 
 
#.  1834 : Extinction of the Religious Orders’: all religious orders are abolished, and the monks leave Carmo Church
 
#.  1864: Foundation of Carmo Archeological Museum on the foundation of the 1755-destroyed  Carmo Church. 
 
#.  23 July  1920: Birth of Amália Rodrigues, becoming a Fado singing star. 
 
#.  25 April 1974: The fall of the dictatorship, celebrating 48 years of dictatorship in Portugal 
 
#.  Today: Free Lisbon. Multicultural Lisbon. Lisbon Under Stars. Celebration of Lisbon’s Urban art, and cultural and historic heritage. 
 
The show is short at 45 minutes, but is highly recommended. 
 
 
LISBON UNDER STARS. Carmo Archeological Museum. Lisbon. www.lisbonunderstars.com 
 

Dear reader: Due to the hacking of our Social Media accounts, you may need to follow our Facebook again, the hackers having removed 2000 Friends; and our Instagram account, the account having been deleted completely, and now replaced by me with a new one (new handle below). 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

 

TimeOut Market Lisboa presents the best cuisine of Lisbon, Portugal, under one roof!

I had seen in a magazine prior to my arrival in Lisbon that the Time Out Market Lisboa is a must-visit venue. What an impression it made on me, when I visited it at the beginning of June, with about 30 restaurants, bars, and florists in this massive food market very close to where I stayed in Lisbon. How does one choose what to eat, with such a selection?! Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Alma Restaurant by Chef Henrique Sa Pessoa one of top two restaurants in Lisbon, disappoints!

I had the luck to get a last minute booking at Alma, the two star Michelin restaurant of Chef Henrique Sa Pessoa in Lisbon last week, one of only two restaurants in Portugal with two stars. It opened four years ago. While one dish was superb, another was served incompletely, and my waitron let the restaurant down. Continue reading →